Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ready or Not, Here Comes XBRL!

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted to establish a three-part requirement for use of Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) for publicly-traded companies. The top 500 worldwide companies with a "float" exceeding $5 billion must use XBRL by the end of this year. U. S. companies using U. S. GAAP and with "float" in excess of $75 million must use XBRL by the end of 2009 while all companies which are publicly traded in the U. S., including those using IFRS standards, must use XBRL. One surprise, the SEC decision requires that both annual and quarterly reports must use XBRL.

Running isn't much of an option (except perhaps to go private) for there appears to be nowhere to hide. Publicly traded company auditing during the next few years will have a lot of hard work, a sizable amount of relearning and real opportunities for new CPAs who can grasp the impact of XBRL, IFRS and other massive changes in financial accounting and auditing.


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